After a grueling seven game road trip and not being home for the past two weeks, the Moose Jaw Warriors will be looking forward to getting back to their own beds and Mosaic Place.
The Warriors wrapped up the trip with a 2-1 loss to the Prince George Cougars on Tuesday evening. The team will now make the 18-hour trek back to Moose Jaw.
The Warriors outshot the Cougars 34-25, but started out slow. They gave up two first period goals that were two and a half minutes apart.
“We shot ourselves in the foot right off the hop in the first period,” said Warriors assistant coach Mark O’Leary. “I thought we certainly didn’t have the energy that we’ve had the last couple of games and the turnovers proved costly early on. We weren’t able to make up for those in the second and third.”
Sam Fioretti scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season late in the second period to get the Warriors on the board, but the team couldn’t get another puck past Cougars’ goaltender Brett Zarowny.
“I thought we got better as the game went on, but we can’t continue to score one goal and expect to win many games,” said O’Leary.
There were some chances for the Warriors to tie it up in the final two frames, but were unable to capitalize.
“Those were chances just by going to the net with your stick on the ice. That is something we try to push for every practice,” he said. “I think if we do a little more of that, I think we would be rewarded a little bit better. There were a couple opportunities that we missed because we weren’t being puck ready and sticks in the air.”
The Warriors finished .500 on the trip going 3-3-0-1 and the last six games have been decided by one goal.
“I think if you look at the games closely, it shows a lot about our defensive play. I don’t think we are giving teams a whole lot,” he said. “At the same time, it is frustrating being that close and only averaging two goals a game all season long.”
The Warriors will host the Red Deer Rebels on Friday (7 p.m., Mosaic Place) and will be looking to avenge an earlier 2-1 shootout loss to them on this road trip.
“I guess it is back to the drawing board, but it is not a bad trip to come back .500,” he said. “Back in our home rink on Friday and hopefully we can get back on track.”